Chariots of Fire movie paired with food for an athlete

Starring Ben Cross, Ian Charleson & Nigel Havers

Rating 5/10


– We meet most of the ‘boys’ as they enrol at the prestigious Cambridge University. Harold Abrahams (Cross) is a Jewish student with something to prove. He is tired of the anti-Semitism that rages all around him and is ready to show the world that he is a powerful person with a great pair of legs! He romances the local opera singer, Sybil Gordon (Alice Krige) and she falls for him and his legs.
– Eric Liddell (Charleson) is a different kind of runner. He is an ex-Rugby player and devout Christian who runs for God. Though he is impressively fast, his equally devout sister doesn’t think running is important. But he sticks to his guns and seeks out selection on the British Olympic team. First he has to race our mate Harold who, up until now, has never lost a race.
– Harold’s world comes crashing down when the angelic Eric beats him. Abrahams then has a childish tantrum, buries his face in his hands and says that if he can’t win then he doesn’t want to race. Sybil advises him to suck up his dangling lower lip and grow up. He does and uses the disappointment as inspiration for the 1924 Olympics in Paris.
– While on the boat across the Channel, Eric learns that his heat is to be run on a Sunday. He realises that his faith will not allow this and drops out of the race, to the dismay of the British head honchos. One of the Cambridge boys offers him his place in a different race later on in the week and Eric agrees. Then they race, anthems are sung and I won’t spoil the end for you!


I’ve always dreamed of being an athlete, though I’m not sure how dedicated I would feel at 5am! But let’s all live a little like an athlete for a night and tuck in to some healthy muscle-building recipes. Try this Tuna Sweet Potato Jackets recipe from BBC Good Food. Yumsie.


There’s no doubt this film is a classic. I’m sure the theme song pops up in many a trivia night, yep, sport films tickle something in us! Hard work paying off, justice, overcoming obstacles, victory.

But I must admit this mighty famous film is a little boring in parts. The slow-motion sequences don’t help this at all. The story is powerful but it lacks punch but I think modern films have spoiled this one for me. There was no real tension at the end and the ending was sweet but not a surprise.

But I do love the music, which is a mixture of gospel and 80’s xylophone sounds. Kinda cool but not really appropriate to the period of the film. The performances are well done but, for an Best Picture winner, this one fell a little flat… for me! What did you think?

Main meal:

OK you sports stars, onto the mainestestest meal of the day… fuel that fine body with Grilled Salmon and Quinoa from Athlete 2-0.

Chariots of Fire Triva:

  • Budget – $5.5 million
  • A US coach, not Jackson Scholz, was the one who handed a note to Eric Liddell before the big race.
  • Kenneth Branagh, Steven Fry and Ruby Wax are extras
  • The Lord was the one who actually succeeded in finishing the Great Court Run in time.
  • The beach running scene was filmed at St Andrews and most of the runners are golf caddies.
  • The title of the film was thrust upon writer Colin Welland when he was listening to the hymn, ‘Jerusalem’ – “Bring me my chariot of fire”
  • The funeral service is that of Harold Abrahams who became a Christian later in life.
  • Harold also unsuccessfully competed in the 1920 Olympic Games.
Finish the food race, so to speak with these delicious-looking Blueberry Flaxseed Muffins from Spark Recipes. Eat them with a generous dob of greek yoghurt with a smidge of honey and you’ll be off (in a good way, aye!)
Do you eat like an athlete? It’s tough but makes you feel great (apparently).
More awesome films with yummy food: